..a hero. Really? How is he nothing more then a criminal? A smirking, self-interested criminal?
Maybe they call him a hero because people think heroes are so scarce these days that we have to settle for so much less? Or is it because his fans are just stupid youth, enamored with the idea of someone giving a middle finger to the law?
This guy has a facebook fan page (with 80,000 fans, no less) on which someone says, romanticizing this criminal's decisions, "They can never imprison a mind like yours." What is his mind like, aside from lacking in self-control and relishing in instant gratification? It doesn't take a genius to steal. In fact, though it does require one to be careful to not get caught, it's not exactly a brain surgery-like profession.
He has also been called a "modern day Robin Hood," yet he has only once given money he stole away - to an animal hospital. That's hardly grounds for comparing him to one who risked his own freedom to help others obtain basic necessities, most of which were stolen from them first (*revealing the soft spot in my heart for R.H., which mostly stems from the Disney cartoon version).
Critics say that those who are fawning over him aren't "looking any deeper than the surface." But, even on the surface, this guy is just a degenerate thief, who has taken pleasure in pilfering stores and peoples' homes since the age of 12. He moved on to stealing high-priced planes and crash-landing them in fields of mud. He has a disregard for other peoples' property; does that qualify him to hero status? Lots of people have the idea that any damage is fine, so long as it's done to someone else. Hardly seems special or worthy of noting.
The CNN article queries whether he is merely a "common thief" or a "folk hero." The main argument for his crimes being "folksy?" That he committed many of them while not wearing shoes. No, I am not making this up. My guess is the editors of the story are only slightly older than the criminal himself. How else to explain their
Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Johnny Appleseed are folk legends. They are remembered (as real or imagined people) as having done great things which had an impact on others, but not necessarily in a negative or positive way.
Casey Jones, Daniel Boone and Robin Hood are folk heroes. They risked their own lives to give to other people things that which would benefit them - property, safety and well-being.
Bonnie and Clyde, Jesse James and the kid in the article are criminals. They committed acts that only benefitted themselves and, in the process, harmed many others.
If you don't understand the distinction, well... then this kid is going to be the best hero you ever have. And you're missing out on so much if he is.